Daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr by Gwladus, daughter of Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn. About 1100 she married Gerald of Pembroke; there were at least three sons of the union — William, Maurice, and David Fitz-Gerald — and a daughter, Angharad, wife of William of Manorbier and mother of Giraldus Cambrensis. Clearly a woman of great charm and beauty, she became the mistress of many lovers. Her romantic abduction (almost in her husband's presence) by her kinsman, Owain ap Cadwgan, in 1109, has earned her notoriety as the ‘Helen of Wales.’ Her numerous offspring included Robert Fitz-Stephen and Henry ‘filius regis’ — her child by king Henry I. The date of her death is unknown, but she lived until well after 1136. There were others of the same name less famous than the subject of this notice: Nest, daughter of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, Nest, the wife of Bernard Newmarch, and Nest, daughter of Gruffydd ap Rhys.
Published date: 1959
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